Covid booster jabs “likely to be offered to most French people” – .

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Covid booster jabs “likely to be offered to most French people” – .


A booster vaccination against Covid will likely be required for a significant proportion of the vaccinated population in France, the chairman of the government’s scientific advisory committee said today (August 25).
Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, President of the Scientific Council, said that a third dose will certainly be necessary for older and more vulnerable people; and was likely to be extended to a larger proportion of the population later.

The told TeleMatin: “This will concern the oldest people [first]. We know there is a decline in the vaccine immune response [after some time]. So it makes sense.

“Me, I was vaccinated on January 4, I am over 70 years old, so I will be vaccinated with a booster as soon as possible. We talk about booster, to re-stimulate the immune response.

“We now have a series of data showing that the vaccine protects against severe forms [of the virus], but on the other hand, it protects less well against infection. So the more we revaccinate with a booster, the more we catch up in preventing infection. “

France should invite people aged 65 and over, or people with underlying health conditions that put them at risk of a severe form of Covid, to have a third injection from the end of October.

Read more: Details of those eligible for France’s Covid-19 recall plan revealed

This is a new study based on new data in the United States, published by the US health authority CDC on August 24, suggests that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 66% effective against the Delta variant.

This is compared to the 91% efficiency calculated over previous strains.

When asked if the Scientific Council would be likely to recommend the need for a third booster dose to a larger percentage of the population, in addition to the most vulnerable, Professor Delfraissy said: “We lack data at this subject. It’s a bit early to tell. But I think we will.

“If you want my personal opinion, I think we will go for a third dose for a large percentage of the vaccinated population. To stimulate the immune response. And if we end up with another variant, we can now manufacture other vaccines, specifically targeted on this or that variant. ”

Professor Delfraissy has no political or decision-making authority, but as chair of the advisory group his views are taken into account by the government and he is widely respected as an expert on Covid.

Third dose ethics

The professor’s comments come as the World Health Organization (WHO) questions whether giving a third dose of the vaccine is ethical.

The WHO has called for a moratorium on giving a third dose of any vaccine in rich countries for two months because it says many of the poorest countries around the world have yet to give their population a first dose.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said recall campaigns currently underway or being planned show “vaccine injustice and vaccine nationalism”.

He added this week: “In addition, the effectiveness of these booster vaccines is still debated.

It comes as Hungary became the first European country to start offering third doses to its population, in a bid to prevent the Delta variant from spreading further. Almost 180,000 people have already received a booster dose, in addition to nearly 60% of the Hungarian population who had already received a double injection.

From September 20, the United States is also expected to offer a third dose to people who have already received full Pfizer and Moderna injections; while Israel is now also offering a third injection to people aged 40 and over, with the aim of stopping the Delta variant. More than 60% of the Israeli population is double-bitten.

In contrast, countries such as the Republic of Congo, Haiti, Chad, Benin, Mali and Cameroon still have vaccination coverage below 1%.

Other large poorer countries, notably Ukraine, Senegal, Rwanda, Vietnam and Algeria, also have low coverage rates, at 7.1%, 3.5%, 3.3%, 1.9% and 1.7% respectively.

Since the start of the pandemic, 75% of vaccines manufactured worldwide have been widely distributed in 10 rich countries, while the African continent has coverage of less than 2% on average.

Hazar Haidar, an ethics expert who teaches at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR), said the debate around third doses is an “important ethical issue.”

He told Le Devoir: “The scientific data on the effectiveness of a third dose are not yet convincing. Going in that direction rather than sharing these vaccines with the people who need them means that we are prolonging the crisis and the pandemic, rather than trying to get out of them in solidarity with others.

Dr Ghebreyesus said low vaccination rates around the world could allow “the Delta variant to evolve and become even more virulent, and lead to the emergence of new strains of the disease”.

Effectiveness against Delta

This is a new study based on new data in the United States, published by the US health authority CDC on August 24, suggests that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 66% effective against the Delta variant.

This is compared to the 91% efficiency calculated over previous strains.

The data comes from a study of thousands of healthcare workers working at healthcare centers in six different states to examine the effectiveness of vaccines under real conditions. Almost every healthcare worker in the United States has received the Pfizer or Moderna jabs.

The study’s authors said the decline in vaccine effectiveness could also be attributed to an expected decline in the immune response over time.

But the report says, “While these preliminary data suggest a moderate reduction in the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines in preventing infections, the fact that the reduction in infections remains at two-thirds underscores the importance and continued benefits. vaccination. “

In France, the Delta variant has spread, with Health Minister Olivier Véran saying this week that the country will reach the peak of the fourth wave of the epidemic within days.

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